Posted on August 23, 2021 at 4:37 PM by Emily Saveraid
Gerald Joseph has been a dedicated Polk County 4-H volunteer for over 5 years. He has been heavily involved in ensuring the youth at Oakridge Neighborhood have access to all that Iowa 4-H has to offer.
Gerald’s volunteer experience began by working with Polk County 4-H staff to bring afterschool and summer 4-H programs to Oakridge. The interest in 4-H grew so much so that Gerald started the Oakridge 4-H Club, which has engaged over 100 youth in its short span of existence. He also recruited youth to attend the 4-H CYLA and Connect retreats, which is geared towards ensuring that youth from all cultures feel a sense of belonging in the Iowa 4-H program.
As a middle school science teacher, Gerald is very passionate about exposing youth to various STEM fields. 4-H has been a great way to bring Gerald’s love for science and education to the youth at Oakridge. He has brought in many STEM professionals such as engineers, app developers, hydroponic farmers, and more to expose youth in his 4-H club to various careers in STEM. Because of this passion, Gerald began the STEM on the Ridge Day, which is a one-day STEM festival in the Oakridge Neighborhood. He has grown this event to include over 20 hands-on STEM booths and engaging over 100 youth per year.
Outside of 4-H, Gerald is very involved in his community. From being a science teacher, Brother2Brother mentor, Science Bound advisor, coach, and general supporter for all youth he interacts with; he truly embodies 4-H by empowering youth to be life-longer learners and leaders.